Innovation. Celebration. Collaboration.
The richest business pitch competition in Colorado.
  • Brace yourselves, the second annual Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is coming. Download the press release.
  • New format. New challengers. Same epic competition. May 26-30, 2015. Stay up-to-date.

Presenting Sponsors

Colorado State University College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
Collegiate: May 26-27, 2015
Enterprise: May 26-30, 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado

The 2014 Events

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge and Venture Fest is a weekend-long event to be held in Fort Collins, Colorado. The public is invited to participate in the experience and be a part of the excitement by attending the weekend’s many activities.

Challenge Schedule

February 11, 2014 Enterprise and Collegiate Challenge Finalists Announced
February – April 2014 Competition Prep and Workshops
Fort Collins
May 2, 2014 Collegiate Challenge Main Event and Awards Ceremony,
Fort Collins Lincoln Center
May 23; noon to 4 Trolley Pitch Competition,
Old Town Fort Collins
May 23; 6 to 7:30 p.m. Enterprise Challenge Opening Ceremony
Fort Collins Lincoln Center
May 24; 8:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.  Enterprise Challenge Main Event
Fort Collins Lincoln Center
See Complete Schedule

Venture Fest Events

All events occur on May 24, 2014

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Expo Hall,
Cherokee Ballroom
9 a.m. to noon Youth Showcase,
Magnolia Theater
Noon to 2 p.m. EMyth Branding Seminar,
Magnolia Theater
2 to 6 p.m. Partner Showcase,
Magnolia Theater
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Angel Symposium
Columbine Room
9:30 p.m. to midnight  Blue Ocean Bash,
242 Linden Street

The 2014 Competitions

So much more than a business pitch competition, Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge and Venture Fest is a collaboration between Blue Ocean Enterprises and Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business that was created to ignite entrepreneurial spirits, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem. The weekend’s events will bring together some of the most influential trailblazers in the industry.

Collegiate Challenge

Collegiate Challenge

$20,000 grand prize
6 months EMyth coaching
1 year Blue Ocean mentoring
$2,500 in HP equipment
a chance at the glory

Enterprise Challenge

Enterprise Challenge

$250,000 grand prize
6 months EMyth coaching
1 year Blue Ocean mentoring
$20,000 in HP equipment
unrestricted bragging rights

The Trolley Pitch Competition

Same Collegiate Challenge competitors. New competition and new prizes. As a historic street car makes its way around Old Town Fort Collins, each team will have two minutes to pitch its business plan before the trolley stops and a new team gets on. All are welcome to watch this competition, taking place Friday, May 23. Trolleys kick off at 401 W. Mountain Ave at 1 p.m.  Find out more about the Trolley Pitch Competition.

The 2014 Competitors

Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge competitors are passionate leaders with a goal of changing the world through innovative ideas, hard work and ethical business practices. Competitors will present and defend strong ideas, practical solutions and growth potential. Sixteen enterprise finalists and 16 collegiate finalists were chosen out of 120 applications from across the United States to participate in this exciting opportunity.

Collegiate Challenge Competitors

Competing for a $20,000 prize and entrance into the Enterprise Challenge competition, 16 collegiate competitors are aiming to prove their business idea is better than the rest in the Collegiate Challenge. These passionate and fresh faces from colleges across the state of Colorado have a chance to give their new business ventures a running start.

University of Colorado Boulder

United States Air Force Academy

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

University of Colorado Boulder

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

University of Denver

University of Colorado Boulder

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Click logos to see more

Enterprise Challenge Competitors

With $250,000 on the line, 16 companies from across the United States have their eye on the prize of the Enterprise Challenge, which also includes a year of mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises and EMyth, as well as other notable prizes. The enterprise track competition is not for brand new concepts; the companies selected to compete had to have at least $100,000 in revenue and/or an investment to date. The competitors will be judged by a panel of esteemed industry experts.

Littleton, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Greenwich, Connecticut

San Diego, California

Champaign, Illinois

Santa Cruz, California

Denver, Colorado

Brooklyn, New York

Dallas, Texas

Modesto, California

Fort Collins, Colorado

Sunnyvale, California

Boulder, Colorado

Colorado State University

Click logos to see more

The 2014 Judges

We have a total of 26 highly esteemed judges involved in the competition. These individuals have a wide range of expertise and are primarily current investors and entrepreneurs. We are honored to have this highly influential group of judges participating in our event in this capacity.

Founder and CEO, Kyjen

Managing Director, Access Venture Partners

Sourcing Partner, Google Ventures

CEO and Founder, Revlyst

CEO, OtterBox/LifeProof

Founder and Managing Partner, Vista Ventures

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Galvanize

Managing Director, Access Venture Partners

President, FirstBank Northern Colorado

Project Manager, Delta Electronics Capital

Investor and CoFounder, Epicenteral Coworking

Partner, Fort Equity

Co-Founder and CEO, Lasso Media; Co-Founder and ex-CEO of Photobucket

Economic Development Director, City of Fort Collins

Impact Investment Advisor and Co-Founder, Envirofit

Founder, Fort Collins New Tech; Exec. Committee, Startup Colorado

Managing Director, Techstars

Investor, board member, and CFO of Apex Ski Boots

Deputy Chairman, Velcro Industries, N.V.; Founder, ET Capital Partners, L.P.; Fo...

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Galvanize

Co-founder and Managing Partner, Sequel Venture Partners

Founder, FASTSIGNS

Co-Founder and Partner, Fort Equity, LLC

Founder and former CFO, Pill Pockets, Inc. and Pura Vida Fitness and Spa; Vice P...

Co-Founder and Managing director, ProMed Management

Executive Director, Rockies Venture Club

The 2014 Location

Fort Collins, Colorado

Situated about an hour north of Denver, Fort Collins embraces an exciting urban lifestyle with a friendly small-town feel.  The most events of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge occur at the Lincoln Center (417 W. Magnolia, Fort Collins, CO 80521).

Getting Around

Green Ride is offering CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge attendees a $3 discount off each reservation. Reserve at the discounted rate by going to the CSU Blue Ocean portal.

Once here, get around with the Transfort bus system or by bicycle – Fort Collins is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, and you can borrow a bike from the Fort Collins Bike Library.

What to do

Need a break from challenge festivities? Fort Collins is known for its historic Old Town, dining and nightlife, arts and music culture, and prodigious number of craft breweries. There are also some great natural areas nearby, including the landmark Horsetooth Rock. Find out more specifics from Design Sponge or Visit Fort Collins.

Where to stay

Armstrong HotelFort Collins has a variety of accommodation choices, including the Armstrong Hotel (259 S. College Ave.), the Hilton (425 W. Prospect Rd.), and the Marriott (350 E. Horsetooth Rd.). Find other accommodation options.

The 2014 Sponsors

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge and Venture Fest epitomizes collaboration and uplifts community. This event wouldn’t be a reality without the generosity and vision of our sponsors. If you are a business owner or individual interested in sponsorship opportunities, please download the Sponsorship Guide to learn more.

Presenting Sponsors

Visionary Sponsors

Launch Sponsors

Startup Sponsors

Seed Sponsors

 

Sponsor in 2015

If you want to explore sponsorship, please inquire at sponsors@blueoceanchallenge.com.

About the Challenge

Created by Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises, LLC, the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is the richest competition of its kind in Colorado. The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge and Venture Fest aims to bring into one inspirational weekend the best college entrepreneurs, innovative startups, and young, growing companies. While it is a celebration of innovation, the Enterprise Challenge also is a very real chance for one business to walk away with $250,000 in cash. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is part of Fort Collins Startup Week.

In the Press

Philadelphia Business Journal. (June 5, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (June 13, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 27, 2014)

Built in Colorado. (May 23, 2014)

The Coloradoan. (May 24, 2014)

Boulder County Business Report. (May 23, 2014)

CSU Magazine. (Spring 2014)

U.S. Air Force Academy. (May 10, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 9, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 2, 2014)

Pitch Zoo. (May 9, 2014)

Algae Industry Magazine.com. (May 2, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Apr. 30, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State. (Apr. 25, 2014)

Fort Collins Coloradoan. (Feb. 14, 2014)

FalconWorks (Air Force Academy). (Feb. 13, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State University. (Feb. 12, 2014)

Fort Collins Coloradoan. (Feb. 11, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Sep. 25, 2013)

Denver Business Journal. (Sep. 25, 2013)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Dec. 13, 2013)

Denver Business Journal. (Dec 12, 2013)

Download Press Release

On the Web